Ban Chiang case unsettles museums in US

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The repercussions from the smuggled Ban Chiang artifacts case in California have got museums around the US keeping a close watch. Especially since under US law, all the Ban Chiang material currently in the collections of US museums might be considered stolen property because of a 1961 Thai law.

Thai Antiquities, Resting Uneasily
New York Times, 17 February 2008
This feature is scheduled to be published in the US on Feb 17, but has been online since yesterday

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Tax evasion scheme proves costly for Southeast Asian Archaeology

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The New York Times carries an article walking about how the recent antiquities smuggling racket (see here, here and here) damages the archaeological record – and all for a tax evasion scheme. The article quotes extensively from Dr Joyce White of the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Ban Chiang project. Many thanks to Dr. White for flagging the article.


Ban Chiang Ware, creative commons image by drdrewhonolulu

Tax Scheme Is Blamed for Damage to Artifacts
The New York Times, 04 Feb 2008
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UC Berkeley Art Museum’s stolen Ban Chiang artefacts

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After four museums were investigated for holding looted artefacts – among them artefacts from Ban Chiang, Thailand – the UC Berkeley’s Art Museum is now being investigated for being offered the artefacts.


Ban Chiang Ware, creative commons image by drdrewhonolulu

Museum May House Illegally Taken Works
The Daily Californian, 28 January 2008
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Southeast Asian artefacts turn up in Californian museum raid

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Over in the US, four museums in California are being investigated over possession of artefacts that were allegedly illegally exported from Southeast Asia and looted from Native American lands.

Burmese Art Features in US Smuggling Probe
The Irrawaddy News Magazine, 25 January 2008

Raids New Blow to American Museums
Associated Press, 25 January 2008
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5 Southeast Asian archaeology sites to visit (that are not Angkor)

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Forget Angkor. Sure, it’s one of the largest religious monuments in the world, and you gotta admit that with spectacular architecture, sculpture and bas-reliefs there’s no wonder over two million people visited Cambodia last year. But the archaeological sites in Southeast Asian are so much more than the 11th century temple to Vishnu.

With some suggestions from the facebook group, SEAArch gives you the internet tour of five other spectacular archaeological sites in Southeast Asia open to the casual visitor – and three of them are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. So step in and take a look at some of the other great sites Southeast Asia has to offer – in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and yes, even Singapore!

Note: The names in parentheses denote the nearest airport.